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Those With Goals Are 10x More Likely to Succeed: Here Are 15 Tips to Set Yours

Elizabeth Faircloth
6 min read
Those With Goals Are 10x More Likely to Succeed: Here Are 15 Tips to Set Yours

I am sure many of you are saying to yourself, “Goal setting for 2016? Isn’t this a little early?”

It is the beginning of November, and it is actually a perfect time to begin goal setting and preparing for 2016. Typically, my husband and I wait until the middle of December to begin this process.

Not this year!

We have decided to make a change and begin our goal setting process much earlier. We have our first meeting scheduled in a couple of weeks! Our goal is to be done with our planning by December 1st.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” — Karen Lamb

I am certainly not an expert in goal setting. However, I have been goal setting for over 15 years and have found by a ton of trial and error what has worked and what has not worked. So here are 15 tips and suggestions to get the most out of your 2016 goal setting.

1. Put together a “year in review” brainstorming session.

Before you move ahead with any goal setting for 2016, it is incredibly helpful to do some soul searching and review of this past year. What worked? What did not work? What were your successes this year? What can you celebrate this year? If you had to do it over again, what would you change? During this process of evaluation, it is imperative that you do not blame anyone or anything else for your successes or failures.

Successful people take full responsibility for their failures. Don’t look outside of yourself. If something is not working, then get HONEST with yourself and be accountable. You can’t set goals for next year if you don’t get complete on the current year.

Before you set your goals, you want to brainstorm ideas and get yourself into a positive, motivating state of mind.

Ask yourself: What would need to happen at the end of 2016 for me to feel happy and successful? What is it that I want more of in my life? These questions will help you brainstorm what it is that you REALLY want and lead you to setting the right goals for yourself.

2. Write down your goals.

We all have heard this one before. However, do you know how powerful writing your goals down really is? A Harvard Business study revealed amazing statistics relating to goal setting and success.

  • 83% of the population does not have goals
  • 14% have a plan in mind, but are unwritten goals
  • 3% have goals written down

The study went on to find that the 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. The 3% with written goals are 3 times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals. I was very surprised when first read these statistics. However, the more you think about it, it makes complete sense. Most people are not getting what they want in their life because they are not writing down what it is they actually want.


3. Put the goals in “I AM” instead of “I WILL.”

Whenever I see people’s goals, I often see it phrased, “I want to own 100 apartment units.” Change how you phrase your goals to putting your goals in the present tense. I would change this goal to “I OWN 100 apartment units.” There is something powerful when you put goals in the present versus “someday.”

“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the false story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” — Jordan Belfort

Related: Stop Dreaming & Start Doing: How to Turn Big Real Estate Goals Into Actionable Steps

4. Make your goals specific.

We have all heard of SMART goals. I would say one of the most helpful sections of SMART goals is to make your goals specific, but don’t limit yourself. In other words, back to our example above, you could say, “I own 100 apartment units or something better.” You want to be specific, but you don’t ever want to limit yourself.

5. Write down your goals every day — morning and evening.

You have to keep your goals in front of you daily. Writing them down continuously will help you move towards them faster.

6. Visualize your goals on a daily basis.

Writing them down is a great practice. Visualizing your goals happening is even better. For example, here are three superstars who harnessed the power of visualization.

  • Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was always stressing the importance of seeing himself victorious long before the actual fight.
  • As a struggling young actor, Jim Carrey used to picture himself being the greatest actor in the world. He even wrote a check out to himself for 10 million dollars when he was not popular and dated it for many years in the future. Memo line: for acting services. During an interview many years later, he shared how it actually came true!
  • Michael Jordan always took the last shot in his mind before he ever took one in real life.

There is a ton of research on the power of visualization. For instance, in his study on everyday people, Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist from Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio, compared “people who went to the gym with people who carried out virtual workouts in their heads.” He found a 30% muscle increase in the group who went to the gym. However, the group of participants who conducted mental exercises of the weight training increased muscle strength by almost half as much (13.5%). This average remained for 3 months following the mental training.

Bottom line: Visualize your goals happening in great detail. It will help you achieve your goals with more ease and quickness.


7. Create an action plan to achieve your goals.

Goals are imperative, but you must also have an action plan on how you are going to achieve the goal. This is imperative, especially if you have an enormous goal. This would include all the small action steps to help you move towards your goal.

8. Be flexible and stay open to the process.

This one is critical to having peace in your life. Life changes, our goals change, and everything in between changes constantly. So, for those achievement-oriented folks out there, you have to remain flexible, nimble and adaptable, even when it is hard to do so!

9. Choose goals that motivate you and that you’re passionate about.

This one goes without saying, but no goal has ever been achieved when a person lacks motivation. Make sure you have a passion for what you are setting out to do!

10. Be able to answer the “why” behind your goals.

I have talked a lot about the power of “why.” Knowing WHY you want your various goals will be helpful to achieving them because it will fuel your motivation.

11. Review your goals on a weekly and monthly basis for course correction.

This is a very simple habit that gets missed during the goal setting process. In order to achieve something, you must review and make changes along the way. I like to call this “course correction.” It really helps to do this both on a weekly and monthly basis.

12. Celebrate your wins on a weekly basis.

During your weekly review of your goals, don’t forget to celebrate your wins for the week — even if they are small. Celebrate every single one of them. This will help you build momentum towards achieving your goal. Feeling good about your progress will allow you to carry this positive feeling into the next week.

Related: 5 Daily Habits to Help You Steadily Reach Your Entrepreneurial Goals

13. Be able to answer the question, “Who do I need to BE in order to achieve my goals?”

We all have these huge goals; however, we don’t stop long enough to answer the question above. In order to achieve what you want to achieve, who do you need to be? For me personally, I have answered this: “I need to be flexible, gentle with myself, persistent, positive, and spiritual.” Your answer might be different. The key is to figure out who you need to BE at your core to achieve your goals.

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14. Turn your goal into an inspiring mantra.

Have some fun with goal setting. If it is boring, you won’t want to do anything. Back to our example above, if your goal is “I own 100 apartment units,” you can make this more of a mantra by changing it to “I am the owner of a thriving 100 apartment complex.” This mantra can be something you can write on an index card and read throughout the day.

15. Get support.

This is the last item on the list, but quite honestly, this is the most important one. Every single successful real estate investor gets support from someone or something. Find an accountability group, even if you have to start one. Find like minded entrepreneurs or other real estate investors to form a mastermind group. Find a mentor or pay for a coach. Find some way to get support; that way you won’t give up.

I hope these goals and strategies help you. I would love to hear from you! What am I missing? What do you do to achieve the most success with your goals?

Thank you for reading and can’t wait to get some discussion going!

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.